EXCLUSIVE: Tilda Swinton talks to Grazia

25 September 2009

One of the most striking and successful Hollywood actresses of our time, it was hardly surprising that British fashion house Pringle of Scotland announced Tilda Swinton as the face of their S/S 2010 campaign back in July. And with dramatic images shot against a sensual Highland backdrop by renowned photographer Ryan McGinley, who has also directed a short film featuring Tilda for the campaign, Pringle’s new season aesthetic is a far cry from the heavily stylised images of Pixie Geldof and Daisy Lowe we saw just six months ago.

Heralding the brand’s return to London Fashion Week, we were treated to an audience with McGinley and the Oscar winner at London’s Saatchi Gallery on Monday just a few hours before the show. “We set ourselves a challenge” she told us as she fiddled with a series of fine gold bangles at her wrist, “we had just one day to shoot the campaign and the video, so it was largely improvisation”. Charting an unnamed female protagonist’s journey through the Scottish landscape close to Swinton’s home in the Highlands, McGinley shoots Tilda running through woodland, crawling through stone ruins and finally emerging from a dark underground cave to walk slowly along a stony beach and disappear into the ocean. “I know those waters so well”, she says dreamily while clearing up any confusion that in her day to day ramblings she dons Pringle’s nude pink silk dress with ruffled appliqué details. “I’ll wear anything as long as it’s clean!” 

Tilda’s tactile relationship with McGinley has clearly had an impact on the success of the film. For most of the interview he remains quiet with his arm round her shoulders, telling us only that she needed little direction as “she always gives me something I don’t expect”. Their mutual appreciation for the beauty of the landscape is evident in the small gold charm hanging from Tilda’s wrist: “This gold bat charm on my bracelet is an original Ryan McGinley. Anyone who’s been in that cave is given one as a mark of a shared experience”.

- Katie Jackson


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